5 Skills Every Office Manager Needs To Have

Luis Congdon

When you want to hire an office manager, it’s good to know what skills they’ll bring to your company. And if you are an office manager (or plan on becoming an office manager), this article will cover the fundamental skills you’ll want to have. 

By looking at job sites like; Glassdoor, Craigslist, Indeed, Linkedin, Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter you’ll notice most office managers need specific skills. Some of the abilities include being a strong communicator, being organized, and working well with little direction. 

Whether you are someone with operation manager skills or someone who can help with the basics, it’s good to be clear about what exactly is required of an office manager. 

Here are 5 specific skills that great office managers possess and continue improving throughout their career: 

1. Strong Communication Skills

One of the main needs of an office manager is that they can communicate with staff, clients, and other personnel. That is why an office manager must possess strong communication skills and can confidently speak with clients, staff, partners, and other professionals. 

An office manager must have the ability to speak with others, be someone the team can trust them to work with clients, handle the day-to-day with staff, and hold things down at the office. 

Office manager is likely to be the person many people speak with, report to, and communicate with on a regular basis. Tasks of an office manager can include; speaking with clients, staff, external agencies, reaching out to discuss business with partners, handling problems, and much more that requires being a strong people person. This is why an office manager must have the skills to speak with others, has a winning attitude and has an influential tone with a focus on developing long-term relationships. 

If you’re looking to hire an office manager - you’ll want to make sure your list of required skills includes expertise at handling requests and inquiries in a professional, diplomatic and tactful manner. And if you’re wanting to become an office manager, be sure you enjoy having a lot of face time, phone time, and digital communication with many kinds of people. 

2. Organization & Clerical Skills 

Along with handling day-to-day communications at the office, an office manager will also have a lot of clerical work. This is why an office manager must be proficient with a computer, the full Microsoft Suite, Google Suite, and can handle organizing essential documents (not just online, but physical materials as well). 

At the heart of an office manager’s job is an ability to stay organized. An office manager must have operational management skills. That means they can keep track and organize documents and make it easy for staff to access critical information. 

If you plan to hire an office manager it will be essential you hire someone who prides themselves on being organized. Similarly, if you are pursuing a job as an office manager you will need to detailed orientated. 

As an office manager it’s likely you will organize: 

  • Office documents 
  • Payroll documentation 
  • Written staff disputes 
  • Quickbooks, Excel, and any other tracking software for finances 
  • Emails 
  • Office supplies 
  • Materials that are lent out or used by staff 
  • Timesheets 
  • Multiple calendars (your schedule, your boss, other staff, and the office) 
  • Credit cards and incoming/outgoing money 
  • Petty cash 

3. Ability To Manage Multiple Projects At Once 

An office manager is going to handle phone calls, emails, issues with clients, requests from staff, and orders from many people. This means that an office manager must be able to handle many requests and can prioritize. 

Being able to prioritize deadlines is critical for an office manager. If you want to hire or wish to become an office manager be sure to understand that time-management is essential to the job. 

4. Ability To Use Communication & File Share Software 

If you’re looking to become an office manager, you will need to be to handle various kinds of software. Most of the software you’ll use as an office manager won’t be very complex, but they will still be essential to your job. 

Given that the job will comprise up writing reports, analyzing financials, and writing up documents - handling Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Skype, social media, and email software will be essential to the job role. Not only will you use basic software that most people utilize on a regular basis these days, but it’s also likely you’ll be asked to offer support with the website, phone systems, financial tracking software, and other programs that help keep the company running.

This means an office manager must be comfortable with technology and learning new kinds of software. If you are proficient with Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and don’t mind learning other kinds of software systems - you will do great as an office manager. 

Since an office manager’s work is to help manage the office needs, it’s likely they will need to troubleshoot or speak with other professionals regarding; Quickbooks, Wordpress, website hosting, basic tech setups for the office, and other kinds of software that allow the company to run smoothly. 

5. Basic Project Management Skills 

One of the jobs of an office manager will be to stay up to date on many of the projects happening in the company. The smaller the company, the more involved they’ll be with keeping track of projects and work in the business. And if they’re working at a bigger office, they’ll still need to keep up to date on the various projects their boss and various staff have. 

Since today’s workforce is strongly dependent on software, it’s likely they’ll need to learn how to use software such as Slack, Asana, Trello, and other kinds of tools that help everyone on staff stay on top of what is happening. While an office manager may not need to actually manage a project - it’s highly likely they’ll still need to be up to date on where projects are and to stay on top of potential needs the company needs to execute and finish tasks. 

If the team is running low on office supplies, needs to ship materials, needs to make support calls, needs basic reporting, or needs help following up with an external agency - it’s likely as the office manager will be counted on to help assure these duties are handled. If you are wanting to become an office manager or wish to hire for this role, it’s good to understand that project management skills will help in the job role. 

Some Additional Resources

If you’re looking to hire an office manager here are two resources to help you craft a job posting: Neuvoo.ca and topresume.com. If you are looking to become an office manager, you’ll also enjoy this article on what office managers need to do and know

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